**UPDATE January 2017: Please check actual card details as inclusions may have changed since this post.**
If you have been following along on the blog you will have more then likely been reading about my trip to Melbourne, and the many different things that I got up to while there. This trip and working out the itinerary has most definitely been made easier by a great product that I found. It is called the See Melbourne & Beyond Card, and gives you access to a large number of great attractions in Melbourne.
I came across this card when I was searching for information on just what you can do when you are in Melbourne. At this point I had a few attractions that i wanted to visit, however nothing really that would fill the whole week that I was in Melbourne for. This card quickly helped me to get a little clearer on just what I was going to do for the week. With over 40 different attractions included it gave me just what i needed to be able to plan what i was going to do and not have to think about what it was going to cost. You have 3 options when purchasing the card, a 2, 3 or 7 day pass, and it provides free entry or tours to many different attractions in an around Melbourne.
I made the decision to purchase the 7 day pass, as even though it is the most expensive it gave me the most flexibility to not be trying to get through everything I wanted to do in 2 or 3 days. The first benefit which I took advantage of is a Public Transport Metcard, for the equivalent number of days to the See Melbourne and Beyond Card. This itself is worth $38.90. Once this was sorted I made my first visit to the Aquarium (normally $31.50). After my visit to the Aquarium, I found my way to the Eureka Skydeck (normally $16.50), which rounded out my first day of use with the Card. On the first day I would have already been close to spending half the cost of the card, so not a bad start.
Come Monday morning, I had to get moving to a tour that I had booked which was also included with the See Melbourne Car. The tour was run by Grayline Tours, and was a tour of all the city sights, which included a stop at Fitzroy Gardens, and The Shrine of Remembrance (normally $68.00 for this tour). With nothing much else planned for Monday Afternoon, i found my way to the pier where the Melbourne River Cruise (normally $23.00 one way up or down river) departed from. Luckily, I found it with about 10 minutes to spare before the last cruise of the day left. I finished the day with another visit to Eureka Skydeck (normally $16.50).
You may notice that I have by Monday already made two visits to the Eureka Skydeck. This is possible with the See Melbourne card as you get one visit to each attraction each day for the length of the card. Ordinarily if you were looking to visit for example the Eureka Skydeck both during the day and night, you can get a $20 Day/night ticket, however with the See Melbourne card it just means you need to visit two different days to do both times of day. All up I made 6 visits to the Eureka Skydeck on different days.
Tuesday morning, I headed out to the MCG to take part in a tour of the Grounds and a look through the Australia Sports Museum (normally $10.00). The tour was great, you get to see many area’s you would not normally see, however not being hugely interested in sport, I got through the sports museum fairly quick, there was a lot of school groups there this day, so maybe a good thing. After this a short walk found me back at Fitzroy Gardens, and I had a quick look through Cooks Cottage (normally $4.00). Finally for the day I stopped at the Immigration Museum (normally $6.00) which was just near the hotel.
Wednesday morning, I did make a little bit of a change to my plans, and headed for the Old Melbourne Gaol (normally $20.00) which is really an eye opening experience, just to see how criminals lived today, and consider it in comparison to how they live now. For the Afternoon on Wednesday I had already booked a second bus tour with Grayline Tours (normally $68.00) which went out to the Mount Dandenong, while not as interesting as the other bus tour the destination was much more interesting.
Thursday saw an early start, to find my way on a Tram, to the Melbourne Zoo (normally $22.00). This was one of the things I was definitely going to visit, and having it included with the see Melbourne card was good. On the way back to the City, I had a stop planned for the Melbourne Museum (normally $8.00) while I was hoping for a good experience here, I did find the Museum to be lacking in some respects. While they have a huge building, a great indoor rain forest display, animals, and bugs and insects, i found the other gallery’s to be a little disappointing.
By Friday I had visited almost all the attractions that I was hoping to in the City of Melbourne, while I could have possibly found my way out to a couple of others, the primary ones I wanted to make use of were really to far out for just day trips. So i finished up Friday with a second Melbourne River Cruise (normally $23.00) which went up river this time. Quite a different View of the river going this way as opposed to down river.
So what does all of this really mean anyway? It means that there can be some quite good savings from a card like the See Melbourne Card. If I had been paying the normal price at each attraction along the way I would have spent $421.30. At the time of my trip to Melbourne the See Melbourne card was priced at $205.00 for 7 days(now it is $225). So really at the previous price or the current price it is still great value if you can make use of the range of visits like I have.
If you are more then happy to push the limits a little there is plenty of potential to visit even more attractions and save even more money. There are at least another 4 or 5 within easy reach of the CBD, and a couple more not that far out. So with a car available you could easily save a lot more by visiting more attractions. This really is a great value product if the attractions included are going to interest you. Even just the public transport and doing the 2 bus tours and 2 river cruises would have covered the cost of the card. So it is an option well worth considering.
You can find more about the See Melbourne and Beyond Card here – http://www.iventurecard.com/au/melbourne/